The Scottish Government will respond to a critical report of NHS Tayside’s chemotherapy services in “the coming weeks”.
Investigators at Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) revealed in April that Tayside medics had given cancer patients reduced chemo doses without informing them for several years.
The Scottish Government created an expert group, chaired by cancer expert Professor Aileen Keel, in the aftermath.
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This group had been expected to report back on its findings to Scotland’s top doctors in June.
The Scottish Government says their report has now been delivered – and the conclusions will be made public in the near future.
A spokesman said: “We have recently received the report from the independent review group and it is currently being considered by the chief medical officer and chief pharmaceutical officer and will publish in the coming weeks.
“As NHS Tayside has made clear, patients are now being offered the full dose chemotherapy regime if clinically appropriate at the start of their treatment.”
HIS launched an investigation last year after a whistleblower alerted it to the measures being taken by Tayside oncologists.
Clinicians were giving out docetaxel – a drug that can reduce the risk of breast cancer recurring – at 75% of the strength dispensed by other Scottish health boards.
They felt the drug – which can have numerous side effects – was “not well tolerated” by patients, but their view was not shared by other medical staff.
Tayside patients were also not routinely offered Oncotype DX testing – a genetic test which can calculate the risk of breast cancer recurring – prompting outrage from cancer charities.
Since April NHS Tayside has vowed to bring its regime into line with the rest of Scotland but as recently as last week patients still claim they are being put on weaker courses of treatment.
One woman, speaking to the Tele on Saturday, said she felt putting her on a weaker dose of docetaxel without trying the standard dose first was “disingenuous”.
Professor Peter Stonebridge, NHS Tayside’s acting medical director, insists regimes are now aligned with the rest of Scotland.
He said: “The chemotherapy dosage given to an individual patient is fully discussed and agreed in partnership with the patient during their face-to-face consultation with their oncologist.”